Georgia Lawmaker: People Who Want to Remove Confederate Relics Are No Better Than ISIS
Georgia representative Tommy Benton is a staunch proponent for his state’s Confederate history, and while arguing for a state constitutional amendment that would preserve Stone Mountain Park, he compared Southern efforts to remove Confederate references to acts of ISIS.
The park’s carving of Confederate leaders is one of the state’s most well-known allusions to the rebel government, and Benton is pushing back on the calls across the state to move or change the carvings. Benton has argued that the South’s “cultural cleansing” is a result of too many people pushing the Northern narrative about the Civil War, that slavery was not the core issue of the conflict, issue, and he even partially defended the actions of the Ku Klux Klan.
“I understand that African-Americans, for the most part, have a problem with the slavery issue, but they don’t denounce their ancestors in Africa who were selling slaves,” Benton said. He went on to say that the white supremacist group “kind of made people straighten up.”
“It was not just based on race as such, it was based on… I guess you would call them vigilante,” Benton said.
Benton’s other legislative pushes are for making sure the mountain is kept as “appropriate and suitable memorial for the Confederacy,” as well as making the birthdays of Confederate leaders into state holidays. His bills are a countermeasure to those proposing for the exact opposite plans, and he compared it ISIS’s campaigns to destroy ancient and culturally significant sites that contrast with their extremist code of Islam.
“That’s no better than what ISIS is doing, destroying museums and monuments,” Benton said. “I feel very strongly about this. I think it has gone far enough. There is some idea out there that certain parts of history out there don’t matter anymore and that’s a bunch of bunk.”
Watch a report on the story in the video above, via WSB-TV.
[h/t Atlanta Journal Constitution]
[Image via screengrab]
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